Somalia Hunger Response: Further Update

The picture below is an indication of what is already happening  to the children of Somalia. This picture was taken in November 2013. The possibility of this becoming a full scale major famine disaster yet again is absolutely probable if food and medical aid is not dispatched timeously. In 2011 the world responded when the crisis was well advanced, when thousands had already died and millions were affected. The situation is not much different now as 3 million people are at risk in the south suffering from various degrees of malnutrition. Unfortunately, many civilians are trapped in conflict areas so unless they are "free" to move to health centres we won't know the true extent of their medical condition but we need to be prepared for any eventuality. The crisis hasn't reached 2011 levels as yet but the causation factors are the same: there is still political conflict; there is minimal to no rain; drought is prolonged since 2011; there is no income; farmers are too weak, don't have the means or are hindered by conflict to pursue agriculture and food security; the largest hospital in the country is virtually shut down and one other hospital has been converted to some residential facility.

The needs are enormous at all levels including the provision of basic food, high energy supplements, medicines, medical supplies of any sort and medical equipment. There is a tremendous need for education from primary to tertiary level including the provision of stationery, textbooks and computers to access textbooks on medicine, science, engineering and various branches of learning. We are much more established in Somalia now having maintained our presence since 2011 and being one of the most significant NGO in the country. Our activities are recognised by the Transitional Federal Government, the Amison Forces, El Shabbab, the various clans and by millions of Somalis in the country and in the diaspora. Presently we have 4 medical centres operating in 4 districts in Mogadishu, 1 in the central jail, 1 in Ceelmacan and 1 in Walewyn districts. We have 1 maternal health centre in Afgoi and 1 in Walewyn districts. In 2011 our activities were restricted to within an 8km radius around Mogadishu. We now have expanded to 90km in the south to Wallewyn district. Our activities cover Mogadishu, Middle Juba, Bay, Bookal, and Gedo regions where the maximum concentration of vulnerable civilians are located. We have access to a hospital (larger than Forlanini Hospital which we temporarily set up in 2011) and where we are involved in management. If we need to take medical teams across we will have full and free access to this facility.

Essential supplies required include rice, maize meal, flour, porridge, soya, soup, high energy supplements, oil, sugar and tea. Medicines, disposable medical supplies and any type of medical equipment as well as wheelchairs, walking sticks, crutches are all most welcome. Cash contributions can be made into Gift of the Givers, Standard Bank, Pietermaritzburg, Account No. 052278611, Branch Code 057525. Please send deposit slip with contact details on email or fax for acknowledgement purposes. For more details call our toll free line 0800786911.  For sms contributions SMS "GIFT" followed by an amount between R5 and R200 to 30100 from your Vodacom number or 42600 from all other networks. Eg. "Gift R50", not "Gift R50.00". Our first 4 containers are being loaded today with more to follow in the week.

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